Every year on the last Monday of May, we celebrate what is now known as Memorial Day. Most of us have come to think of Memorial Day as the official kick off three-day weekend that opens the door right into summertime. Memorial Day does however have an important history that surrounds it, along with what should be a deep reverence for why we celebrate it in the first place. Memorial Day means so much more than a three-day weekend–here’s all the facts we think that you need to know!
Why We Celebrate Memorial Day: Memorial Day is an officially sanctioned, federal holiday set aside for the specific purpose of remembering those who died while in the service of our country.
History Of Memorial Day: The celebration of Memorial Day goes back to the time just following the Civil War. The extreme carnage and loss of life that was experienced during the Civil War (Over 620,000 lives lost) made many feel that it was appropriate to honor the memory of those who had died during war through a special day of remembrance.
Decoration Day: Because of the fact that soldiers graves were “decorated” with flowers, wreaths and flags on this special day of remembrance, originally Memorial Day was actually called Decoration Day. The name was changed officially to Memorial Day in 1967.
Memorial Day Traditions: There are many ways you can celebrate Memorial Day. Obviously visiting the graves of fallen soldiers is the most obvious, appropriate and traditional way to do this, the most popular things to leave on the graves of soldiers being flowers and American Flags. Flying an American flag in front of your home is also a great way to get into the spirit of Memorial Day. Traditionally, the most appropriate way to fly your flag on Memorial Day is to fly it at half-mast until noon and then at noon raise it to full mast and leave it there until sunset. In some places, you may see poppies being worn on lapels. The wearing of poppies is a tradition that began in 1915 after a volunteer war worker named Moina Michael started a campaign to make the poppy a traditional remembrance symbol that paid homage to war veterans.
Take a Moment: In the year 2000, Congress established what is now known as a National Moment of Remembrance. At 3:00 p.m. (local time), wherever you are on Memorial Day, American citizens are asked to pause for one minute as an act demonstrating national unity. Why 3:00? It is thought that at 3:00 p.m. on Memorial Day, most Americans are fully engaged in, as well as enjoying their many freedoms while celebrating this national holiday. Be sure to take a moment to silently honor those men and women who gave up their own “tomorrow” so that you can enjoy your “today”.
Happy Memorial Day from The Seasonal Shop!